About us

About Furness Tradition

Furness Tradition was originally formed in 1997/8 to put on a Festival. Furness Tradition is run entirely by volunteers who aim to promote awareness of, and participation in the folk music traditions of Cumbria, especially Furness. It is a registered charity (no 1123291) established in 2008. Is based on over 20 years previous work in traditional music development.   As well as running workshops in schools and the community, and organising an annual festival in mid-July each year, a core part of our aims is to collect items from our cultural heritage, oral or written. New members and friends of Furness Tradition are always welcome to join.

In 2003 Furness Tradition worked with pupils from three local schools and brought them together to play at the Festival that year.

This developed into the Freebandreel out of school music club. In 2004 we organised workshops and a concert at Forum 28 Barrow where they worked and performed with other young professional musicians.

Several of these youngsters went on to play with Folkestra, the Sage Gateshead’s youth folk ensemble, formed in 2001. It is led by their Musical Director Kathryn Tickell. Two of them were finalists in the BBC Young Folk Awards and Joe O’Connor’s band Last Orders were winners in 2007. Another won a scholarship at the prestigious Goldsmiths College Of Art. While yet another studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Maz O’Connor was also awarded a Fellowship with the English Folk Dance and Song Society by the BBC Performing Arts Fund. In 2013 she was a Horizon Award nominee. She spent the summer as the singer for the RSC’s production of  ‘As You Like It’ with music written by Laura Marling. Her latest album is due out in July 2014.

While Furness Tradition cannot claim to be responsible for these talented young people, we are proud to have worked with them and helped them to develop their skills. We were also delighted to be able to book them as performers at the festival.

Furness Tradition operates a protection policy for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

We have worked in partnership with

  • Cumbria Youth Music Action Zone
  • Coniston Water Festival
  • Irish Music on the Move
  • Folkus
  • Forum 28 Barrow in Furness
  • Folkworks
  • Ulverston Dickensian Festival

We have organised and run projects for

  • Parkview School, Barrow In Furness
  • Walney Secondary School, Barrow In Furness
  • Thorncliffe School, Barrow In Furness
  • St Bernard’s School, Barrow In Furness
  • Ulverston Victoria High School
  • Barrow In Furness Borough Council

We are members of

EFDSS
AFO
Folk Arts Network

Furness Tradition projects have been funded by

  • Arts Council England
  • Awards For All
  • Cumbria County Council
  • South Lakeland District Council
  • Ulverston Town Council
  • Barrow In Furness Borough Council
  • Rural Regeneration Cumbria
  • Folkus
  • Renaissance Theatre Trust
  • Cumbria Arts In Education
  • Cumbria Vision
  • Awards For All